Bring Back the Secret Shoppers


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They say a host should spend a night in the guest room to see how it feels. Businesses ought to do the same thing.

The other day, I went to my doctor’s, and realized that someone’s been thinking about customer experience. I was planning to switch PCPs, but the practice won me back with excellence in operations and customer intimacy.

Surveys, focus groups and social listening help to assess the customer experience – but really walking in customers’ footsteps fosters all sorts of ideas beyond improvements to core service delivery.

In this case, the formula is actually pretty simple:

  1. Respect my time. The receptionist talked and moved fast at check-in. And I was seen early because I had shown up 15 minutes before my appointment. In customer marketing: Make emails short and clear. Don’t stretch out the byline to 1200 words or a whitepaper to seven pages. Get to the point, in the first paragraph.
  2. Know my history with you. My doc followed up on specific previous issues (eClinicalWorks EMR in action). For marketers, nurture existing customers in an automated way – but invest in great database administration. Get the communications right.
  3. Make it easy to buy more. They pre-registered me for their new patient portal and told me what to expect – in about two tight sentences, (I signed up when I got home) because I just had to click a button. Selling additional products, solutions or modules should be similar – when the marketing can show how it’ll enhance what I already have and require relatively little effort on my part.

The real lesson: It goes far beyond doctors. Any industry afflicted by lousy customer expectations can reap a windfall. Cable, anyone?Airlines? Telecom?

Customer experience, as a profession, should come of age within the coming decade with help from organizations like the CXPA. Marketers have a lot to contribute in the meantime.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Megan Boyaval
Megan is our champion – of customers, of amazing stories, of how to do it right. She brings a thoughtful, creative approach to campaigns, and knows how to sell tough concepts to a broad audience. She also understands the power of customer advocacy.


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